Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Old School Baptist Churchyard
Hopewell, NJ

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As we drive past the cemetery,
four-year-old Leah says, Let's stop.
I want to see the dead people.

I pull the car over and unlatch the iron gate.
As we walk among the rows,
the wind gusts dry leaves in our path.
 
Do dead people know they are dead? she asks.
Before I can think what to say, another question,
How do dead people eat?
They aren't hungry anymore, I reply.

Leah points to a low stone. What does it say?
A child about her age is buried here.
Rather than explain, I say simply,
Her name was Catherine.

And that is enough to satisfy Leah today.


Nancy Scott is the author of five collections of poetry and managing editor of U.S.1 Worksheets, the journal of the U.S.1 Poets’ Cooperative in New Jersey. She is Mom to four children and Mimi to five grandchildren. Her work has been widely published in journals such as Mudfish, Witness, Poet Lore, Slant, Journal of New Jersey Poets, and The Ledge. Please visit her website.


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